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Best 25 Turkish Foods You Must Know

Yatık Döner - Traditional Cag Kebab

Turkish cuisine is one of the richest cuisines in the world. It is influenced by many cultures from Middle Asia to Europe, Africa to Arabia. Turkish cuisine is a gift of these cultural exchanges and historical heritage from ancient civilizations. No matter how hard to list Best Turkish Foods, here are our best 25 Turkish Foods list.

So, let’s get started!


25- İşkembe and Kelle Paça Soup

İşkembe - Tripe Soup - image courtesty

İşkembe – Tripe Soup

Besides in Turkey, this tripe soup is a common meal in the Balkan area, Bulgaria, Greek, and eastern Europe. Made of cow’s tripe (dana İşkembe-Turk) cooked in terbiyeli sauce and served with garlic-vinegar sauce. By the way, Terbiyeli sauce made from a mixture of egg yolk, lemon juice, garlic, and flour. So, Tripe soup definitely deserves to take part in our Best Turkish Foods list.

24- Mercimek Red Lentil Soup

Savory Turkish Lentil Soup - Mercimek Çorbası

Savory Turkish Lentil Soup – Mercimek Çorbası

Turkish Red Lentil Soup is potentially Turkey’s most popular soup. People who live in Turkey enjoy the soup not only for lunch and dinner but also for a hearty breakfast in Anatolia. So imagine how breakfast with red lentil soup could be delicious!

23- Beyran

Beyran Soup

Beyran Soup

Beyran çorbası (soup) is a traditional Turkish soup originating from Gaziantep, where people serve it for breakfast. It consists of rendered lamb fat that’s topped with rice and shredded lamb meat. The combination is then cooked with the addition of garlic, pepper paste, and lamb broth. This soup is notorious for its spiciness, making it a pretty unusual way to start the day. If desired, the soup can be served with lemon wedges and fresh Turkish bread on the side.

22- Tarhana Soup

Tarhana Soup

Tarhana Soup

The soup, Tarhana Soup, is a traditional soup of Turkish Kitchen. It needs some effort and preliminary preparation. However, the result is worthwhile. Tarhana’s main ingredient of this soup is a kind of flour-like powder. In our kitchens, this powder is prepared in autumn so that in times of need powder is ready to cook. So, here is another best Turkish food and soup!

Street Foods:

21- Kokoreç

Kokoreç -Grilled sheep's intestines

Kokoreç -Grilled sheep’s intestines

Kokoreç is most probably an invention of the nomadic sheepherders of the Central Asian Plateau and brought by these travelers to Anatolia where it became a tradition over the past 100 years. So, it is one of the most common, popular, and tasty Turkish street foods.

20- Balık Ekmek

Balık Ekmek - Fish Sandwich (Image Credit: -Flickr)

Balık Ekmek – Fish Sandwich (Image Credit: Flickr)

Fish Sandwich (balık ekmek) is quite a simple and also delicious meal. Balık ekmek contains grilled white fish, raw onions, and salad in a half loaf of white bread. So, it is an absolute Istanbul classic. You can click here to read our detailed article which was completely dedicated to Balık Ekmek – Fish Sandwich!

19- Tavuk Pilav

Tavuk Pilav - Chicken and Rice

Tavuk Pilav – Chicken and Rice

The pure flavor of simplicity: Chicken and Rice (Tavuk Pilav)! Boil chicken in a separate pot split it from its bones and skin, and then add it over the pilaf! That’s easy but it is not all! The secret is to know how to cook the best Turkish Rice. So, here is how!

18- Midye

Midye Dolma - Stuffed mussels

Midye Dolma – Stuffed mussels

Stuffed mussels or Midye is a generic name for plump orange mussels, herbed and spiced rice, pine nuts, and occasionally currants. It is a popular and common street food snack in the coastal and other areas of Turkey such as Istanbul, İzmir, and Bodrum. Midye dolma is sold at all hours and is normally eaten with lemon juice freshly squeezed over them so that the mussel and rice are not dry and the spices are easily mixed and tasted.


17- Muhlama

Mıhlama (Image Source: Trip Advisor)

Mıhlama (Image Source: Trip Advisor)

A favorite breakfast flavor in Turkey’s northern Black Sea region is a delicious blend of local cheeses melted together with coarsely ground cornmeal. It is cooked in sahan, which is a copper pan with two handles (like a paella pan). Pieces of fresh, crusty bread are used to scoop up the mixture with your fingers. You are very welcomed here to learn every single detail to cook Mıhlama — Cornmeal and Turkish Melted Cheese.

16- Su Böreği

Su Böreği — Pasta with cheese parsley filling (Image Credit: asliborek)

Su Böreği — Pasta with cheese parsley filling (Image Credit: asliborek)

Su böreği (Water Börek) is a variety of Turkish borek that has a reputation of being one of the most difficult boreks to prepare. Traditionally, people fill it with cheese and parsley. In the meantime, the dough sheets need to soak in a combination of water, olive oil, milk, and eggs before baking, making the borek tender and juicy. So, you can find Su böreği at most borek shops throughout the country.

15- Menemen

Menemen - Turkish style scrambled eggs with chopped onions, tomatoes, and sliced green peppers

Menemen – Turkish style scrambled eggs with chopped onions, tomatoes, and sliced green peppers

Typical items include fresh white bread, a slice or two of Turkish cheese-like white cheese or ‘kaşar’ cheese. It also includes black olives, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, and either honey or fruit preserves. Well, Here is how to cook Menemen easily in your home.

14- İçli Köfte

İçli Köfte - Stuffed meatballs

İçli Köfte – Stuffed meatballs

Meatballs stuffed with Cracked Wheat,-Kibbeh- (original name in Turkish İçli Köfte) is a very preferable and tasty Arabic and Turkish traditional food. Moreover, people commonly consume food in Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia. Therefore, it is a specialty of these regions.


13- Etli Sebzeli Güveç:

Meat and Vegetable Hotpot (Güveç)

Meat and Vegetable Hotpot (Güveç)

It is one of the special, and tasty dishes of Turkish cuisine. Meat and vegetable hotpot contains potato, carrot, onion, garlic, and meat, of course. So, you must give it a chance at any time you are in Turkey!

12- Mantı

Aqueus Mantı

Aqueous Mantı

It is a traditional Turkish food. Its preparation and taste look like Ravioli, which is a quite famous Italian food. Cooking mantı is a bit hard but after tasting you definitely. Here are all the details you need to know to cook your home-made Turkish mantı.

11- Dolma

Stuffed Green Peppers

Stuffed Green Peppers

Every cuisine has its masterpieces. Stuffed green peppers -Turkish: Biber Dolması- is one of the peaks of Turkish cuisine which originates from the Sultan’s table. Do you wanna know where this popularity comes from? Then, you should take a look at this article!

10- Karnıyarık

Karniyarik - Stuffed Eggplants (Aubergines) with ground lamb (Image Source: Ardanın Mutfağı)

Karniyarik – Stuffed Eggplants (Aubergines) with ground lamb (Image Source: Ardanın Mutfağı)

This impressive dish is a legacy of the Ottoman Palace kitchens. And yet another of the imperial demands for ingenuity concerning the much-loved eggplant, or aubergine. It is for sure that you can find this dish wherever you go to Turkey! Though traditionally made with ground lamb, there are other ways, too. You may also prepare it with ground beef or have a vegetarian version. Simply replace the meat with your favorite vegetable (mushrooms, chickpeas work very well), sprinkle some grated cheese over the top, and bake it. It turns out to be a delicious alternative.

9- Tas Kebabı

Delicious Turkish Tas Kebab

Delicious Turkish Tas Kebab

Tas Kebab, the combination of special meat stew with pilaf, is another favorite dish of Turkish people. If you ask someone in Turkey about his/her favorite kebab variety, most of them mention this one. This juicy kebab variety is also on our Best Turkish Foods List.

8- Ciğer

Tava Ciğer — Fried Liver (Image Source:

Tava Ciğer — Fried Liver (Image Source:

Its great taste and tenderness begin with the liver itself. However, you can only use young, very fresh calf or lamb liver. Thus, you can have the fresh taste. So, you need to remove and discard any veins because these can be tough after cooking. Here are some useful tips to cook the perfect liver!

7- Köfte

Classic Turkish meatballs

Classic Turkish meatballs

Here we are with another traditional flavor which takes place on our Best Turkish Foods list. Homemade Turkish Meatballs known as kofte are the best things to happen at your dinner table. So, these are spicy, tender, and perfectly juicy. It’s not a secret anymore to make meatballs at home that are much tastier than store-bought ones.

6- Kuru Fasülye

Turkish Beans in Stew

Turkish Beans in Stew

No need to be modest! We must say, Turkey has many tasty bean dishes but this is one of our favorite ones! “Kuru Fasulye” translates to “dry bean” but if you ask for Kuru Fasulye here, there is only one thing you’re talking about, this specific white bean…

Turkish Pizzas:

5- Pide

Pide - Turkish Pizza I

Pide – Turkish Pizza I

This Kiymali Pide, Turkish flatbread with ground meat and vegetable filling, is one of the most popular snacks and our slow cooked “fast food” in Turkey. In Rural Anatolia, locals would prepare the filling and take it to their local bakery, firin. Then, the bakery bakes into delicious flatbreads with this topping over. There are also “Pideci” Turkish flatbread shops that solely bake and serve these flatbreads along with piyaz or Coban Salata, Shepherd’s Salad; such delicious flavor combinations.

4- Lahmacun

Lahmacun - Turkish Pizza II

Lahmacun – Turkish Pizza II

If you’re a fan of pizza but can survive without the cheese, you’re sure to love lahmacun, a Turkish street food. It has a much thinner dough and doesn’t use cheese in the topping, and is usually rolled or folded before eating. Lahmacun is a good example of Turkish regional cuisine and is originally from the southeastern part of Turkey famous for its spicy kebabs and other meat dishes.

Döners and Kebabs:

3- İskender Kebap

Iskender Kebab - Buttered

Iskender Kebab – Buttered

You make Iskender Kebab with doner kebab, which requires a vertical rotisserie where layers of thinly sliced lamb, beef, veal – or chicken – stacked together. So, traditionally, people use minced meat to stick the slices of the meat.

2- Şiş Kebabs

Mixed Shis Kebabs -Lamb -Adana -Chicken and Aubergine Kebabs

Mixed Shis Kebabs -Lamb -Adana -Chicken and Aubergine Kebabs

So, here we are with a delicious and Richy Turkish tables with lots of meat and vegetables. Moreover, you can find and order yourself this tasty-look table everywhere in Turkey. We assure you that you will love it in case you are not a Vegetarian…

1- Döner Kebab

Yatık Döner - Traditional Cag Kebab

Yatık Döner – Traditional Cag Kebab

Finally, we have come to the top of our Best Turkish Foods list. And the Oscar goes to traditional Turkish Döner Kebab. We are sure that there is no one among our followers who do not know or taste so far this delicious meat. In Turkey, on every corner and street, you can find a döner restaurant. It has, by the way, 2 kinds: Chicken and meat döner. So, depends on your taste, you can choose whichever you wish!

Bonus: Deserts

And after the meal, do not forget to have a Turkish Coffee.

Turkish Coffee Kit


Bon Appétit! Afiyet Olsun.

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